Norwich takes third at STACs on the back of six champions

HORSEHEADS – History was made this past weekend in Horseheads. Despite bringing home the most individual champions from any team at the 2017 STAC championships – Norwich was unable to sneak any closer to Horseheads for the team win, as the host team was able to secure the first ever STAC championship as a team in school history.

Taking home six individual champions – with one repeat champion in Ty Rifanburg at 145 pounds – Norwich secured a solid finish to the weekend as they slid their way into a tie with Elmira for third place as a team at 170.5 points.

Horseheads would advance to wrestlers to the finals round, however, would suffer two losses – therefore merely holding off Vestal by 6.5 points for the win. Vestal would take second place with a score of 189.5 team points to Horseheads 196 – as they brought home a pair of champions in Derek Osman at 138 pounds and Jordan Favela at 220 pounds.

Norwich's tournament-high six champions was rivaled by none in their show of dominance on the weekend. Norwich saw first place finishes from: Dante Geislinger at 99 pounds, Mikey Squires at 106 pounds, Eli Rodriguez at 113 pounds, Ty Rifanburg at 145 pounds, Cole Rifanburg at 152 pounds, and Brennan Slater at 182 pounds.

“Going six for six in the finals is just a heck of a job by those young me,” said Norwich head coach Bob Hagenbuch.

Norwich elected to bring a 15 man roster to the STAC tournament, to which eight placed in the tournament – six first place finishes – and perhaps most impressively on the weekend, Eli Rodriguez was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament following his finals win. Norwich saw place finishes – not championship wins – come from Jake Franklin and Nick Glanville. Franklin, who suffered an injury in the semifinals at 170 pounds, and was forced to forfeit due to said injury. Franklin was facing second-seeded Chris Eames of Horseheads at the time of the injury – which caused injury default losses as Franklin took home sixth overall. Glanville battled his way through the wrestle-back rounds to earn himself a respectable fifth place finish with a win over Pettigrew of Vestal by pin at 1:51.

99 pounds: Dante Geislinger emerged on the scene this past weekend, bursting forth from his spot seeded fourth. After earning an easy win in the opening round, followed by a 5-4 win win over Calum Houper of Horseheads in the quarterfinals – Geislinger advanced to face top-seeded Drake Dillie of Elmira.

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